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Weekend Reading List: The Best Food Writing From Around The Web

From a slightly macabre beef competition to the whimsically uplifting rejuvenation of a beloved Indian ice cream brand, this week’s reading list runs the emotional gamut.

+Two former Google employees are on a mission to make the corner store a thing of the past with their new concept, Bodega.

Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store. An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card. The entire process happens without a person actually manning the “store.”

+Something to be salty about: researchers have found traces of plastic in sea salt. The Guardian has the story.

+Ben Shewry of Attica, #32 on the World’s 50 Best List, limits his cooks’ shifts to 48 hours a week, part of a growing trend to allow restaurant employees more balanced schedules.

+In Japan’s recently-hosted “Wagyu Olympics,” luxury beef enthusiasts competed for top honors. Prizes include bragging rights and a one-way ticket to the chop-shop.

Though “seed cattle” winners at the five-yearly event, such as Fumiayame, go home to be cosseted and produce future generations of winners, the beef division winners are slaughtered the day after the judging and are promptly frozen and auctioned at the Olympics. The most expensive beef went for 54,001 yen ($498) per kilo, and the most moderate for 3,241 yen.

+Road trip food can be way more than limp, rest stop cheeseburgers. The James Beard Foundation polled some culinary all-stars (here’s looking at you, Daniel Boulud) about what they eat while traveling.

+San Francisco is certainly a city of quirks. MUNCHIES dives into one its oddest liquor store traditions: cutty bangs.

A “cutty bang” means two things, in terms of drinks: One, a mixed drink of Seagram’s gin, Tanqueray, Bacardi Limon, and pineapple juice. Two, a small plastic bag full of little airplane-sized liquor bottles and miscellaneous other ingredients—such as juice, or in some cases, candy—that you combine in a cup full of ice, then drink shortly after exiting the liquor store.

+Kanti Parekh, former chief food technologist for India’s beloved Kwality Ice Cream, has recently brought the nostalgic frozen treats to the US. His mantra? “One God, one wife, one ice cream.”

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